Wildwood, NJ, theme park raising wages to avoid worker shortage
With war in Ukraine placing student work visa's on hold, shore businesses are bracing for another summer of labor woes.
One Wildwood theme park operator is taking pre-emptive steps to hopefully avoid a worker shortage by raising its pay scale.
Morey's Piers is offering a "performance payment" of $1.50 an hour for workers who will commit to a minimum of 200 hours through the summer season.
The extra pay is in addition to hourly wages that top out at $15 per hour.
In addition to hourly rates up to $16.50 per hour, seasonal employees will also get free park admission and discounts for friends and family.
A Morey's spokeswoman said in a statement that summer employment down the shore can teach valuable lessons.
"Teens and young adults will have the opportunity to learn many valuable lessons like time management skills, communication and customer service skills," the statement reads.
The announcement of a wage increase comes a day after New Jersey 101.5 reported many student work visas were on hold due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
"It seems that a lot of J-1 visa students were coming from that Eastern Bloc," Diane Wieland, director of tourism for Cape May County, told New Jersey 101.5. "It's from one end of the tourism industry to the other that will be impacted."
Foreign college students from the area who had plans to come to the Garden State through a federal Summer Work Travel Program are now in a holding pattern. As of now, businesses and industry observers aren't counting on these students to make it here on time or at all for summer 2022.
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